The 37-year-old actress and entrepreneur is getting back to her acting roots, starring alongside Gabrielle Union in the upcoming Bad Boys spinoff series L.A.'s Finest. In a new interview with Parents magazine for their December issue, Alba appears on the cover alongside her three children – daughters Honor, 10, and Haven, 7, and son Hayes, 10 months – and opens up about returning to acting in the #MeToo era.
"I’m getting back to acting because it’s my first love and part of my identity. Hollywood is different now from when I semi-retired ten years ago," she explains. "There’s a new awareness of how important it is for women to be paid well and represented in front of and behind the camera. The #MeToo movement, for all the heartache and trauma it has churned up, enlightened people. For L.A.’s Finest, I didn’t even think about what a man would be paid. I said, ‘This is what I’m worth.’ Gab and I know our value, and we’re lucky to be comfortable enough that we could have walked away if we’d had to.”
As she's getting back into the swing of being on set, while also running her Honest Co. company, Alba still makes sure to first and foremost be an attentive mom.
“I bring my kids with me on business trips. I recently took Honor with me to Milan," she shares. "We went two days early so we could have some together time. When I had meetings, she’d wait for me in another conference room. I can’t be at every school drop-off and pickup, but I’m showing her my time is valuable and that she has value to me. I also want her to see that my work is important and that I’m trying my best to make a difference, and maybe she’ll absorb it.”
The actress and entrepreneur adds that it's meaningful for her to show her daughters that working hard is important and to treat everyone with respect.
“I’ve been a feminist my whole life because I’ve always believed in equality," Alba says. "My husband [Cash Warren] and kids believe in it too. It’s so basic. Be kind. Be fair. And stand up for anyone who is not being treated with fairness or kindness. It’s not complicated.”
"I have to say that Alba is one of my favorite co-stars ever,” Union gushed. “To be working alongside such a dope, boss momma is amazing, and she’s brought this sense of calm and professionalism and peace, and also a lot of laughs [to the set]. When people say, ‘How do you balance it all?’ and they ask moms these impossible questions that they never ask dads, what I see in Jessica is that she has brought her world into our work, and it doesn’t make it seem crazy to see babies on set."
"She encouraged all of us to not have to turn off our parent valve," she explained. "You can bring that into your work life and it only enriches you. And it’s the first time I’ve ever felt that on a job in my entire life, and that is really the influence of Alba, this woman who has managed to create three human beings while running a billion-dollar company. She’s leading by the most beautiful, dope, amazing, awesome-to-be-around example. And every day it’s like, ‘Sh*t, this is how it could’ve been this whole time! Damn it!’"
See more on Union and Alba's new project in the video below.